Indoor Activities for Bad Weather Days
Have you ever woken up and had the realization that the weather wasn’t going to cooperate with your plans? It’s too hot, wet, cold or unpredictable to go for that nature scavenger hunt you had planned. I’m pretty sure we’ve all been there. Trying to scramble for something that will keep the kids busy while they are cooped up inside. It seems to be a daunting task when you don’t have anything right up your sleeves.
Well. I’ve got you. Here is a list of some of my favorite indoor activities. Most of them are easy enough to find the supplies for. Chances are you have them laying around the house. My next post will be a list of things you can stock up on so you have the essentials for days like this.
Painting. It can make a mess. We lucked out though and MB brought home some wax lined butcher paper. We put it wax side down on the table, floor, whatever surface we were going to use and painted on the other side. This allowed them to use as much paint as they wanted and it didn’t bleed through to the other side. It also made clean up super easy! I cut out the pieces they wanted to keep and the rest I just rolled up and tossed. It kept the boys busy for at least a half hour. Which meant I had time to sort out the next activity.
Baking. Again. Messy. But so worth getting them involved in the kitchen. I can’t tell you how many times the three of us were in the kitchen baking or cooking. If we were baking it was usually brownies, cookies or chocolate chip banana bread. I’ll have posts on those later. Usually while they were busy doing something else I would pre measure all of the ingredients so they could take turns dumping and mixing them in the bowls. A trick for you, a “life hack” if you will, is to let one do the wet and one do the dry. If you have a third let them mix the two together. This allows everyone to get their turn and we don’t lose our minds trying to referee while also keeping track of the recipe.
Road Map. I drew a couple of these over the time I was with the boys. Detailed maps that they could drive their cars and trucks and transformers on. Doesn’t have to be this detailed. I did this over the course of a couple of days during nap time. I would finish dishes, laundry and whatever else needed doing and then I’d turn on Netflix and draw. It was a great way to relax while the boys were napping. They always loved seeing what had been added when they woke up. They could play with this for an hour at least. Usually without bickering over whose vehicle was too big for the roads.
Tortilla Pizza. This was an amazing idea I wandered across when I was searching for kid approved foods. I wanted to mix up what the boys and I were eating at lunch and this fit the bill. They get to help put it together and it takes only 8 minutes in the oven. It’s exactly as it sounds. You take a tortilla, add sauce and your favorite toppings, bake for 8 minutes at 400 degrees F. Simple and small enough that they can each make their own. Which I have found is a great way to get the eat their food. The more involved they are in
Sticky Spider Web Toss. This is a fun game that works on their hand eye coordination and gross motor skills. You take some painters tape or masking tape. You put it up in a doorway looking like a spider web. The kids get to throw crumpled newspaper balls, cotton balls or tissue paper balls at the web. Whoever gets the most balls stuck to the web wins.
Ooblek. The book by Dr. Suess is great, but being able to play with it is even better. To make ooblek you mix one part water to 1.5-2 parts cornstarch. It is a non-newtonian fluid. Which means that when you handle it gently it is a liquid. But, if you punch or squeeze it, it becomes a solid. This is a fun activity that will provide many smiles and cries of glee.
Scooping Activity. This is a great fine motor activity for toddlers. I fill a couple of bowls with uncooked rice and beans. I give them spoons and let them scoop and poor from bowl to bowl. It’s a short activity that gives me enough time to make lunch or do some dishes. You can do this with plain rice and beans or you can color them with a mix of vinegar and food coloring. The colors add another layer of interest for the kids.
Laser Maze. This was a hit with the boys! I use party streamers to create a laser maze by taping the ends to the wall and criss crossing them. The kids then have to try and make their way through the maze without tearing the streamers. They can crawl, squeeze and shimmy their way through. To add another layer of difficulty you can add “treasure” that they have to collect on their way through. This is something the kids asked me to put up often. But I would only do it on really hot, wet or cold days. That way it wouldn’t lose its novelty.
Live Cams. You can find many live cams online but a favorite for us was www.explore.org. We followed a family of bears in Alaska through the summer to hibernation. It was a great thing to pull out when we were waiting for appointments or classes. There’s also zoo and safari worldwide that have live streams on there. You can find any sort of animal you like!
Sink Play. I let the boy wash their toys in the sink. They loved playing with the suds and water.
There you have it. Ten of my favorite activities to do with kids when we can’t go outside. Hopefully this list provides plenty of entertainment for you and the tiny humans you take care of. Feel free to add your favorite indoor activities below!